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2d fun

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I'm thinking of years gone here. There were no 3D cards or graphics libraries per se. All you had was your copy of Delux paint, a copy of Blitz Basic (Amiga version) or C/ASM if you felt hardcore and got to it.

I remember the games I used to make. The main ones that I came up with were: Big Scary Monsters, Hard Dude and the unfinished Bird of Prey.

Big Scary Monsters was a PacMan clone with a difference. For a start it was utter shite, but secondly there were monsters instead of ghosts. Yes, Bill and Bob found that a bunch of scary monsters had 'alf inched their father's apples (scrumpy apples no less) and they set about looking for them. The game started off in the orchard, went to some underground place and eventually wound up in space (don't ask). I even threw in a 2-player battle mode for keyboard bashing fun. The game was crap, but I had fun making it.

Hard Dude was a side-scrolling shooter game in which you played a guy that walked the streets and shot up drug pushers. The main guy you played was based on Lister from Red Dwarf (he had the three dreads and the lot!) except he was packing a massive pistol. I never made more than a few levels, but I remember getting a few mates round to make sound effects for it. Oh those were the days.

Bird of Prey was a top-down 4 way scrolling shoot-em up based on ships from Star Trek. You could jump in as the captain of the Enterprise, Defiant, Borg Cube, Bird of Prey, Ferengi whatever and Romulan Warbird and basically engage in all out shoot-em up war with other people in the sector. I rendered all the graphics in Cinema4d (or was it Imagine?) and grabbed them in as sprites. It looked fantastic and played pretty well too. It was never completed because I sold my Amiga [sad]. I wish I had completed it now.

Naturally there were many other smaller games but these are the ones I remember most (except for my space invaders in 68k asm). The point here is that I could throw games together and have fun doing it. Seems like lately everything is a chore, developing games for the PC is a chore. There, I said it! The reason is mainly because people would hardly even look at an indie 2d game these days let alone play one. I remember when making games was more than making a super-engine and crafting some amazing 3d visuals. I've been attempting to make games on the PC for a few years now and never get to where I want to be with it. Mainly because it's such a slog to do. It's hard work making an 'engine', it's hard work making 3d models that make people want to look at your game. More than that, it's hard to be innovative.

I really do miss the good old days and in protest, I have started playing around with straight 2d in OpenGL. I only chose OGL because I know it, otherwise I would have gone with Allegro/SDL or something. So what am I doing in 2d? I have no idea... I sat down and started playing. I have no game to make, no ideas, just me messing around with 2d again - and boy does it feel good. No Scene graphs, matrices, render queues and all that nonsense, just me poking my pixel art into a 2d pipeline and seeing things onscreen.

Hmmm, iso-fun

I've mad my mind up to make Manta-X mainly 2d. The only things that will be 3d are the fighter ships and maybe odd surface features. The rest will be in glorious 2d... then again, maybe I'll rip it all into 2d and have done with it. 3D-schmee-dee.

Look at me... quite the rebel, aren't I?
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